Player Profile – Craig Stadler
La Jolla, California native Craig Stadler turned pro in 1976 after winning both the 1970 Junior World Championship and the 1973 U.S. Amateur Championship. Highlighting his 13 wins on the PGA TOUR, Craig won the 1982 Masters Tournament and then won back-to-back tournaments on the Champions Tour and PGA TOUR after turning 50 in 2003. Craig has won nine times on the Champions Tour, including a victory at the 2013 Encompass Championship just weeks after turning 60. Craig and his oldest son, Kevin, became the first father and son to play in the same Masters in 2014 after Kevin secured a spot by winning the Waste Management Phoenix Open in February 2014.
CRAIG’S COMMITMENT TO DISABLED SPORTS USA’S WARFIGHTER SPORTS PROGRAM:
Craig has been a huge supporter of Disabled Sports USA (DSUSA) since the mid ‘90s, when he donated funds from his annual Craig Stadler Pro-Am Golf Charity Golf Tournament in San Diego. His commitment continued when he became eligible for the Champions Tour and had the opportunity to earmark his charitable contributions to Disabled Sports USA.
Craig’s support for DSUSA’s Warfighter Sports program stems from his strong conviction that severely wounded warriors who have lost limbs, become paralyzed or blind, and suffer from traumatic brain injury (TBI) or post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) deserve to receive this nation’s strongest support, including opportunities for sports rehabilitation to help rebuild their lives. Those severely wounded in war, as well as their families, pay an enormous life-long price for defending our freedom; and they deserve every opportunity to rejoin their families, friends and communities through healthy sports and recreational activities.
Warfighter Sports rebuilds lives through sports by improving self-confidence, promoting independence and uniting families through shared, healthy sports activities. Through the program, severely wounded veterans have opportunities to participate in adaptive golf and 30 other sports year-round. Sports rehabilitation takes place inside and outside major military hospitals (including Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda/D.C., Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio and Naval Medical Center in San Diego), VA hospitals and communities nationwide.
A member of the US Olympic Committee, Disabled Sports USA has proudly served wounded warriors, including those injured in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, since 1967. Since 2003, more than 9,000 wounded warriors and family members have been served. Thanks to supporters like Birdies for the Brave, all wounded warriors and their families are served at no cost, including individualized adaptive instruction, adaptive sports equipment, accessible transportation, lodging and meals.
Through the Warfighter Sports program, nearly 1,000 wounded warriors have learned and advanced in adaptive golf, a sport that helps improve balance, concentration and hand-eye coordination. Golf can be introduced early in the wounded service member’s rehabilitation process, often before they have completely healed or have their prosthesis. Adaptive golf lends itself to various mobility levels, based on the use of special golf carts and other available adaptive equipment and allows the wounded veteran to get out and enjoy the outdoors, even if PTSD or a TBI make it difficult for them to be in crowds or near loud noises. www.warfightersports.org